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Child Exploitation

Illinois man sentenced to 15 years for child pornography

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. - Michael S. Slaight, 43, of Rock Island, Ill., a registered sex offender was sentenced on Friday to 15 years in federal prison without parole for receiving and possessing more than 100 images of child pornography. The sentence resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Slaight was further ordered to serve a lifetime term of supervised release after he completes his prison sentence. He was also ordered to forfeit his computer equipment and related materials to the government.

In 2002, Slaight was convicted in Rock Island County of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a minor. He was a convicted sex offender listed on the Illinois sex offender registry at the time he committed the child pornography offenses.

On March 16, 2009, ICE agents executed a federal search warrant at Slaight's residence. A forensic preview of Slaight's computer showed more than 100 images of child pornography and he was arrested and charged that same day. Slaight pleaded guilty on Sept. 1, 2009, to two counts of receiving child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography.

ICE was assisted in the investigation by the Illinois Attorney General's Office and the police departments of Rock Island and Moline. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew J. Cannon, Central District of Illinois, prosecuted the case.

"Predators who think they can victimize children and get away with it are sorely mistaken," said Gary Hartwig, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Chicago. "ICE has the know-how and technology to relentlessly pursue anyone who commits such a heinous act against a child."

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders, and child sex traffickers. Since Operation Predator was launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested more than 12,000 individuals.

ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.